QUETTA: Amid tight security, Pakistan has opened its border with Afghanistan at Chaman for resuming Afghan transit trade and other business activities after a high-level meeting held in the border town recently took a decision to this effect.
Official sources said that 317 trucks loaded with dried fruit and other goods crossed into Pakistan from Afghanistan on Wednesday and Thursday under an import and export agreement.
A senior official in the town’s administration said that border authorities allowed over 300 long-body trucks carrying Afghan transit goods to cross into Afghanistan after completing Customs and other legal formalities. The trucks had been waiting for many weeks in Chaman.
He said that around 180 empty trucks returned to Pakistan from Afghanistan. These trucks and their drivers were stranded in Afghanistan after the border between the two countries was closed due to Covid-19. They were waiting to return to Pakistan after unloading Afghan transit goods in Vesh Mandi area of Afghanistan.
“The border was opened only for resuming Afghan transit trade and other trade activities and pedestrians have not been allowed to cross into their countries for the time being,” Zakaullah Durrani, a senior official in the town, told Dawn.
The high-level meeting held in Chaman had decided to open the border only for trade purposes.
The meeting, which was attended by Inspector General of Frontier Corps Major General Fayyaz Hussain Shah, Brigadier Liaquat, members of the government parliamentary committee and representatives of labourers and business community at the border, reviewed the border situation and decided to open the border.
The meeting decided to keep the border open for four days in a week.
However, the representatives of labourers who earn their livelihood by bringing small duty-free items from both sides demanded that the border be opened seven days a week for them and small traders.
It was decided in the meeting that a final decision in this regard would be taken next week with consultation of all stakeholders.
Published in Dawn, August 14th, 2020